Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Trying to Find God's Will II

God's will (at least for my discussion purposes) has three parts:

1)  Salvation: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." - John 3:17

2)  Sanctification, or becoming more like Christ:  "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." - Romans 8:29.

3)  Spreading His Kingdom: "Go therefore and make disciples of nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you..." - Matthew 28:  19-20a

- Or in another sense, God's will is first that we be saved, that we become more like His Son, and that we then spread His Kingdom (through His Word and making disciples) throughout the world.

So a simple question:  How am I doing on these things?

Am I truly saved?  I like to think so, but is there evidence of this in my life? (Honestly, this has always been a struggle for me as I never had the classic "Moment of Change" experience in my life.  I would have to look to my actions and thoughts, I suppose.)

Am I consciously conforming myself to to the image of Christ?  Really and honestly, no for the most part.  I often become so ensnared in the need to "self actualize" or become more of myself (which is almost a cultural directive now) that I spend little time about learning to be more like Christ, of picking up His attributes and making them my own - but as John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:31).

Am I consciously spreading His Kingdom?  Here the answer is (almost certainly) a large negative.  "Sure, I give a little money occasionally for missions and perhaps pray about it once in a while, but that is about it.  I think I can honestly say that I do nothing - not one thing - to spread His word and make disciples in the places I am, let alone to all nations.

So, all in all, it would seem that if I am looking for God's Will - at least the stuff I can definitively know without question - I am far from it.  So what do I do instead?

1)  Work out salvation - Either I am saved, or I am not.  I need to work this out in my mind.

2)  Consciously begin conforming to the image of Christ - This is a large one, but pretty easy to start on.  Simply pick any book of the New Testament and list all the things we are commanded to do.  Start by picking one thing and consciously incorporate it into my life.  Repeat.

3)  Find a mission.  Find something - some way of being definitively involved in showing Christ and God's love, and do that.

I have to confess - in doing this exercise I find myself a little disappointed.  Why?  Because none of these things seem to directly address what I consider to be my "real" situation:  big life decisions upcoming, doing something I do not like really doing, even wishing that large portions of my life were different than they are.

But that, apparently is not really the point.  There is little esoteric knowledge here - nor, I suppose, are we commanded to seek it.  What we are commanded to do is to be saved, sanctified, and serving in the Great Commission.

Perhaps the other stuff will becoming obvious further down the road.

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